With wheat prices slumping, Montana and North Dakota growers are looking for alternatives.
The Northern Pulse Growers held their meeting in Great Falls, Montana this week, in conjunction with the Montana Grain Growers annual get-together. The opportunity to diversify crop rotations and make money doing it excited the crowd.
Growers in these states are seeing what’s worked for western Canadian growers: pulse crops are not only good for consumers’ diets but also good in your rotation and if the prices are correct, a money-maker.
Pulses are one of the examples where Canadian have more acres seeded than our American neighbours, as Western Canada had over 10 million acres of pulses in 2016 — but acres are growing in Montana and North Dakota
In 2016, Montana and North Dakota growers seeded:
Lentils 805,000 acres
Dry edible beans 1,050,000 acres
Chickpeas – 80,000 acres
(To put these numbers in perspective, Saskatchewan reached one million seeded lentil acres in 1999.)
Brian Gion, Northern Pulse Growers joined Shaun from the tradeshow floor, mentioning there could be a 30% increase this coming year for pulse crops. It definitely seems that Montana and North Dakota growers are looking north and saying ‘we can grow that too.’